Gender Structures

  • Case studies: China, India, Dubai. 
  • Impact of a changing gender structure.
HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Kay
  • Created on: 21-05-11 14:54


Sex Ratio for India = 112:100 at birth!! < LEARN THIS

Sex Ratio for Kerala (south) = 103:100 

In Kerala, there are more female employment opportunities and a much higher percentage of women attend school. 

Sex Ratio for Punjab (north) = 113:100 

In Punjab, the main employment is in agriculture which is very male orientated. 

1 of 10


Dowry - the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her soon to husband in marriage.

Sex-selective abortions - The targeted abortion of a fetus based upon its sex.

Infanticide - the practice of someone intentionally causeing the death of an infant.

Caste - the Hindu status hierarchy (class system)

Scheduled Tribes - a group of people in India who are poor and live outside the mainstream of Hindu society; tribal communities.

2 of 10


In the past 20 years, it was high suspected but now, in 2011 it is indisputable fact that India is favouring male children over females to the point of sex-selective abortion and female infanticide

In Northern India, daughters are devalued. Son preference is based on economic and cultural factors but increased under the pressure to have smaller families. 

If men fall ill, they are more likely to receive medical assistance. Illness in young girls and women is often fatalistically accepted by family members. Female infanticide has been a tradition in the north for hundreds of years. It has also been suggested that mothers feel their daughters are better off dying than growing up to suffer as they have. 

3 of 10


A daughter is seen as loss for her parents, not only in an emotional way, but also economically. The parents are usually expected to pay a dowry to her prospective husband's family. This practice has been outlawed by the Indian government but is still common. The problem is heightened when a daughter marries 'up' into a high caste or richer family, which requires a huge dowry. 

A point to remember is that India has a very complex human geography - the northern and southern states have very different traditions, social behaviors and hundreds of different dialects and languages are spoken all over the country. 

Rural custom in the northern states, forbids marriage within the village or between close relatives. Girls leave their families and surroundings when they marry and are discouraged from returning to visit their family. 

4 of 10


In one sense, the 'cultural worth' of Indian girls and women can be measured in terms of their participation in the labour force. This is significantly higher in the south in most economic sectors. 

Paid work helps to raise female status generally and in particular gives women bargaining power within in the family. 

Working mothers who are able to save also have less need to rear a son who will after them in this old age. 

5 of 10


It used to be that poorer castes - known as 'scheduled' or 'backwards' traditionally favored women more than upper castes. This is now no longer the case. 

The 'lower' castes are adopting the social practices of the wealthier groups since Indian independence in 1947. Since this time, the number of girls and women in the population seems to have been in decline. 

Since 1901, it has been known that many Indian castes practice girl murder, child marriage, seclusion, dowry, sati (suicide of a widow when her husband dies) and polygamy quite traditionally. 

6 of 10


There is also an unbalanced gender structure in China's population. At birth the ratio is (boys) 118:100 (girls).

There is a strong preference for boys in China and an undervaluing of females in society.These ideas are rooted in culture and tradition but made worse due to China's One Child Policy.

7 of 10


Over 1/5 of the total world population lives in China. In 1979, the Chinese government implemented the One Child Policy - it was praised as an effective tool for ensuring China will be able to support it's large population. 

China's target in 1979 was:

1200 million people by the year 2000 

700 million by 2070. 

People who support the one-child policy point to figures that show that the policy has reduced the population by 250 million. 

Those who criticize the policy, claim that is has led to extensive human rights violations and sexual discrimination. Chinese families overwhelmingly prefer sons to daughters, as a result of this, female infanticide is increasing rapidly. 

8 of 10


There are lots of complicated laws in the One Child Policy.

  • The Han are allowed one child only, unless the first child is mentally or physically handicapped, or dies - under these circumstances, parents are allowed to apply for a second child.
  • In many rural areas, farmers can have a second child if the firstborn happens to be a girl. If the second is a girl, then hard luck!
  • Minority groups, who may live in outlying provinces, are allowed two children or, if they live in a very isolated are possibly up to four children.
  • Han people living in rural areas who have a second child may be allowed to keep it on the payment of a fine. The fines are imposed by each province and can vary from being relatively small. 
  • People working for state firms are likely to be made redundant should they have a second child, whereas those working for overseas companies are often allowed to keep their job. 
  • In the event of twins, the state will pay the extra costs. 
  • As more people receive better education, fewer couples are taking up the option to apply for even a single child.
9 of 10


The UAE has one of the highest adult sex ratios in the world at 274:100. 

Unlike India and China, the reasons for this staggering sex ratio is due to sex selective migration of adult males. 

The Rise of Dubai...

According to the census conducted by the Statistics Centre of Dubai the population of the emirate was 1,422,000 as of 2006, which included 1,073,000 males and 349,000 females. 

Male adults chose to move to Dubai for the short term due to the boom in its economy because of increased tourism, oil and exporting of goods. There are plenty of employment opportunities in manual labour, public services, shop-counter, hotel posts, construction, technicians, domestic servants etc...

10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Case studies resources »